Dear Mr. (Current) President – November 6, 2020

November 6, 2020

Dear Mr. (current) President,

You know that I’ve always been honest with you so please, take this letter in that same spirit of honesty. You are losing this election and all your “nareshkite”, that’s Yiddish for “foolishness”, will not change the truth. You ask for the vote count to continue in one state where you may gain some votes and go ahead but, stop the vote counts in other states where VPBiden seems to be winning. You can’t say that Republican poll watchers have to watch the counting of ballots with binoculars when there are equal numbers of both Republican and Democratic poll watchers located in the same area and none of them need binoculars. You apparently can yell that there is fraud and cheating but only in states or areas where VPBiden is ahead, but that doesn’t make the accusations true. We are in need of TRUTH and HONESTY. You can try to make accusations and direct your lawyers to go to court but the judges have rejected their attempts. You can also try to rev up instigating your followers to who knows what, but if this leads to violence, you may be liable to be charged with a crime.

I didn’t see or hear your short speech yesterday from the White House, but I read and heard all about it. Along with the lies, accusations and claims that you won the election you seem to have forgotten your basic Civics lessons that we learned in 9th grade. I expected you would have reviewed your notes or at least listened to a podcast about how our Representative Democracy works. I wrote you a few days ago about re-reading the Constitution but I don’t think you or your sons, except maybe Barron because he is in high school and may be taking a class in American Government or Civics, has a clear idea on how our system of voting actually works. Don’t you know we are NOT a dictatorship, or monarchy or Fascist or Communist government? You don’t get to decide; the voters make those decisions and you need to accept that. I’m not saying that you need to be gracious, because I don’t think you can. Take a look at YouTube to see how President H.W Bush made his concession speech. You can also watch how President Jimmy Carter make his concession speech.

I am assigning the following actions: review how our system of voting works and write a concession speech as your homework assignments for the next few days.

The deadline for full credit will be Monday but the work may need to be turned in as early as tomorrow.

Dear Mr. President – November 5, 2020

November 5, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Maybe now is not a good time to write to you. I hope you got some sleep because it’s been a grueling few days, weeks, months and a person has to get some rest. Tuesday night was definitely a night for no sleep, or poor sleep and as a result, yesterday everyone was exhausted. I slept better last night and so did some of my friends and family, but we are all still tuckered out from, well you know. I can’t even imagine how you and your family and friends are doing. I read that you didn’t go to the Oval Office yesterday and there are no public events on today’s schedule either, so it seems that the wheels of government are working like those new driverless cars. We have to have faith that everything will work okay.

As I write to you, we still don’t have a final count for the votes and so we don’t know for sure, the outcome of the election. It’s a weird place to be and I wish I had some advice or ideas on how you could stay calm, but I don’t think that is possible. I told you before Election Day that I was planning on taking long walks, eating healthy food, talking with friends and baking brownies. I did eat a great salad and a great walk, but the brownies are gone. I read that on Election Night you had a large crowd over to watch the returns and you fed them sliders and fries! Late at night? No wonder you couldn’t sleep.

I promise to write to you tomorrow, but I have a request for you today. Would you, could you, in your role as Comforter in Chief as well as President of the United States, remind everyone to take deep breaths, be proud of how many of us voted, follow our Constitution and the laws of the states on how they count the ballots, and, most importantly, respect the outcome?

That would be great.

Dear Mr. President – November 3, 2020

November 3, 2020

AKA Voting Day in the United States of America

Dear Mr. President,

Here we are! It’s a beautiful day in Michigan! I plan on taking a long walk, enjoying the last of the leaves, and maybe baking some brownies. How will you spend the day? The headlines in the NYTImes are “Anxiety Mounts With Race At A Bitter End”. I and so many people I know, have felt that way for a while. During these last 7 or so months, I’ve tried to offer some ideas and actions to calm the anxiety. So far, it doesn’t seem that you have taken me up on any of my ideas, but it has worked for me. Walking, eating good healthy food (chickpea burgers- delicious), visiting on Zoom with friends, checking in with other humans, and offering help to others. Due to being old (NOT), and cautious, my husband and I have stayed pretty isolated in our little pod, wear masks when we are out and about (we aren’t locked up) and found ways to enjoy each other’s company but also have some alone time. We now call each other “Podner” and every outing to the store is called “a date”.

But here we are on Election Day. We voted, our adult children voted, their in-laws voted, my 96 year -old dad voted, our friends voted and so did most of the people I know on Facebook. I love voting and have always voted in person but this year I picked up the ballot at the City Clerk’s office, filled it out at home and returned it to the Drop Box at the City Clerk’s office. It was easy, safe and I felt proud to fulfill my civic duty. You have complained about how so many citizens are voting this year and would like everyone to return to voting in person. I remember when the voting booth had a little curtain which you pulled to give you privacy, you checked the boxes for the names of the people you wanted and then pulled the lever again. It was such a satisfying sound. I miss that, but, like many other “modernizations”, I find new ways of doing things are also meaningful and satisfying. After all, some of the greatest inventions have made life easier, more convenient and safer. Think of safety features in cars, ordering food on- line, and indoor toilets.

My favorite anti-anxiety effort for the past few days has been paying attention to the music in my head. The song, “One Day” by Matisyahu, is constantly playing and I’ve been swaying and dancing to it. But, today, I woke up to a different song playing in my head that will probably reverberate all day. It’s a song I think we learned in music class in elementary school, but I’m not sure. It’s called “I Like it Here” by Alec Wilder, music and William Engvick, lyrics, in 1961. This is the first verse, “I like the United States of America, I like the way we all live without fear, I like to vote for my choice, speak my mind, raise my voice, yes, I like it here.”

So, take a deep breath, wait for all the votes to be counted, accept the results (I have written to you about good sportsmanship) and let’s move forward.

Dear Mr. President – November 1, 2020

November 1, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Today is El Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico. Although it sounds a bit macabre, it is a day to gather with friends and family to remember and pray for the souls of those who have died. People usually visit the graves but this year the cemeteries in Mexico are closed, due to the pandemic. Alternative plans will still make it possible to honor the meaning of the day and some of the traditions but without the large group gatherings. Maybe some of us in the United States can try some new ways of giving thanks for what we do this Thanksgiving. There are no actions saying we can’t eat turkey or watch a football game, but we probably shouldn’t have the entire family, or all of our friends join us in person. We will also need to think about new rituals to help those mourning the deaths of family, friends, jobs, and in person school. Perhaps you can get your event planning team on this?

Rituals are wonderful ways to give meaning and structure to our lives. This year marked the 5th time several hundred people participated in an event known as Limmud Michigan. Although this year it was on- line with Zoom, the sense of belonging, learning, singing together and all the emotional support people get from seeing each other and participating was still palpable. I know it has given me food for thought and energy. Specifically, I wanted to share some of the music we need at this time. Jacob Spike Krause, a teacher and cantor, was the musical leader who thoughtfully shared 3 powerful songs. The first, Kol Ha’Olam Kulo (Hebrew for the Whole Entire World), is based on a saying attributed to the Hassidic Master, Nachman of Breslov. The saying is “The whole entire world is a very narrow bridge and the main thing is to have no fear at all.” What a wonderful way to give us courage in these difficult times.The second song we shared was “One Day”. I absolutely love this song as it is an “anthem of hope”, according to Matisyahu, a reggae/alt rock singer who recorded it. Here are the words of the chorus; “All my life I’ve been waiting for, I’ve been praying for, For the people to say that , We don’t wanna fight no more, there will be no more wars and our children will play, One Day (6x).

There was a verse of this song that I thought might be of use to you. “It’s not about Win or lose, ‘cause we all lose when they feed on the souls of the innocent, blood-drenched pavement” and goes on to say “in this maze you can lose your way. It might drive you crazy but don’t let it faze you, no way.” Please check it out on YouTube or look up Koolulam singing “One Day” on YouTube. It’s fantastic and gives us hope that one day things will be better.

The final song was one written by Cantor Marcia Attie , specifically for this time of troubles. It’s called “Heart of Mine” and it speaks to the love we have for one another. Here are the words to the chorus: “Walls are coming down (3x), Life is going ‘round (3x), Loving will be found (3x), It’s all inside of you”. The next few days and maybe weeks, will test us all. These songs with their themes of courage, hope and love have cheered me up and I hope they do the same for you.

Dear Mr. President – October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Holy Cow! Only 6 more days to go until Election Day. It’s so exciting but also a bit terrifying. Your rallies are truly working! They are brilliant displays of all of your talents – truth telling, intelligence, character, strategy, empathy and general abilities to put your finger on the pulse of the nation. It’s truly amazing how you channel all those traits into a 90- minute love fest with your nearest and dearest supporters.Let me explain what I mean by some of these traits. The “Truth” is always flexible and dependent on a point of view. For example; “we have rounded the corner on the virus” is true if you meant it’s wider spread and is affecting almost every state negatively. Remember that while we have enough ventilators, Baruch HaShem, we don’t have enough beds, PPE, doctors, nurses and therapists to handle the new loads of patients. If your point of view is “we are the best at testing” and that’s why the numbers increased, but if you are the families involved or the medical staff trying to take care of people who are being hospitalized, the corner seems to be , heaven forbid, a dead end.

Let’s take a look at your “Strategy” for re-election. The rallies have drawn huge crowds, so there’s that. You don’t need to worry about the masks and social distance but the crowds in Nebraska were literally left in sub -freezing weather waiting for buses to return them to their cars. Your appeal to women is really hitting the mark, especially for “Suburban Women”. They will rush to vote for you because the line, “We are getting your husbands back to work”, is so effective and adorable. Another line that is working great is how the doctors and hospitals are only “in it for the money”. I’m sure everyone will agree with you on that comment. How about the part of the speech about “opening up the country” to “get back to normal”? Look around, we are so “normal” now that it’s hard to believe how we got here so fast.

Even though I didn’t mention every one of your traits that are on display at your rallies as well as throughout your life, I hope this letter inspires you to keep it up. My only question is do you have a stethoscope? It would help if you listened to heart rates as well as kept your finger on the pulse of the nation.

Dear Mr. President – October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Hi and how’s your day going? I see by your schedule there are more travel stops today and there were many over the weekend. I hope you are getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall colors as well as the sea of red at your rallies. Your strength and eloquence are truly unique and the love and loyalty your people show you are also something else. I listened to about 15 minutes of one of the rallies, maybe yesterday or maybe two or three days ago; you know how hard it is to keep track of time during the last 8 months. You told a very long story about Air Force One and the crowd seemed to hang on every word, but only for the first few minutes while you went on for about 15 minutes more. The story had something to do with you wanting to update the plane and how you negotiated the price down but that’s all I remember. It was interesting that you chose to tell an unmasked and squished together crowd of thousands of people that I think are mostly blue collar and low to middle income people about how many millions of dollars you spent on the people’s plane. It made the whole story so relatable, but I think you wanted them to know what a great deal maker you are. I did have one question for you about the plane; was it dangerously in need of an upgrade or did you just want to make it look fancier inside?

I actually have a few more questions for you if you have time to answer them. The first question is do you have a driver’s license? If you don’t, then it helps me understand why you keep saying “We are rounding the corner” when you talk about the DTVirus. If you don’t know how to drive or if you haven’t studied the rules of the road, then that line might make sense. But, if you have learned how to drive then you know that when you round a corner and you are going the WRONG WAY on a ONE WAY STREET – LOOK OUT!! TURN AROUND AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE!!!! The numbers of cases are going up, not down, the “little spikes” are not little, and all the hydroxychloroquine and other drugs in the world won’t help stop the SPREAD of this terrible plague.

The second question I have for you is what is your approach to the problem? It’s unclear what policy you and your administration have regarding the huge spread of the disease. Here are some options: a) nothing is wrong and the problem is going away, b) Mark Meadows is going away along with certain doctors, c) the Corona Virus Task Force is alive and well and coordinating with all 50 states and governors to get accurate statistics and sufficient PPE to them, or, d) the policy changes according to the day, very similar to how some schools are operating, some days in person and some days on Zoom. (The correct answer should be C).

My last two questions are what is the plan for overwhelmed hospitals and the people who work in them and what are you doing to address that problem? Have a nice flight and don’t forget to look at the beautiful leaves.

Dear Mr. President – October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

I know you’ve probably debriefed with your aides and maybe even with Melania and I wondered how they thought you did. My guess is they all praised you up and down for following the rules of the debate. I’m sure you thought you did great, awesome, the best ever and I would agree that it was the best you have done in the two debates and the one town hall event. Personally, I think that when you raise your voice, as you are wont to do, it may mean you need hearing aids, but, mostly you didn’t really yell. There was no spittle coming out of your mouth and only an attempt at interrupting or talking over the moderator, Kristen Welker. One commentator thought you seemed a bit “low energy”. Maybe all the travel, stress of the campaign and even the recovery from your virus have sapped some of your incredible energy.

I wrote to you that we would talk again after the debate especially about if you followed my suggestions.

1. I recommended that you stay positive and, for the most part, you did as well as you can except for your remarks on the children who have been separated from their parents and now your administration can’t find the parents. Unfortunately, this is HUGE. There isn’t a parent who doesn’t panic at the thought of having their child ripped from their arms, hearing the child wail in fear and not hearing from them for the last three years. They weren’t taken care of in clean, safe cages. They were babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, elementary age children and young teens. The Obama administration kept families together and no one, except maybe Steven Miller, thought separating parents and children was a great policy. In the future you might try acting sad or chagrined that there was such a poor tracing system that the parents may not be able to be found. Please don’t say the parents don’t want their children or the children are happy without their parents. That does not show the empathy that is called for.

2. My next recommendation was for you to try and be respectful. Despite dissing the moderator before the debate, you were mostly appropriate with her last evening. We had talked about not accusing VP Biden of dumb or discredited or unproven conspiracies, but you couldn’t help it. Hearing that Biden took millions of dollars from Russia and China and other countries and is still (probably) getting money from them just sounds nuts. The line you had about Biden sending sheets and pillowcases somewhere (?) was just weird and no one knows what you were talking about. It was kind of silly to accuse him of being a corrupt politician while stressing how long he has been in public services and no one has noticed something like corruption.

3. The discussion of the virus was not your strongest argument. Since you have said “it’s going away and very soon” since about mid- March, the line is no longer effective. Surely you saw yesterday’s statistics on infections, hospitalizations and deaths? However, it’s nice to hear you be so positive about the vaccines, but, unfortunately, they aren’t coming in a couple of weeks.

4. The discussion on the economy was a nice try to show how great things were last year. It might have been better for you to discuss how you might improve our situation next year with specific new ideas other than “open up our country”. It is very clear that you care deeply about the economy but less clear on how you plan to help small businesses.

So, it was a decent debate on issues. The clear winners were Kristen Welker who asked some serious and important questions and didn’t let you go off too far from the question and the television viewers who didn’t need Xanax after watching this debate. I think I can safely say, Whew, at least we don’t have to sit through another one.

Dear Mr. President – October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

I apologize for this letter really just being a short note to wish you well in the debate tomorrow night. The new rule of muting the mikes after the allotted time for an answer seems like a great idea. Now VP Biden can’t step all over your yelling. It’s actually a good thing for you, for him and for all the listeners who choose to tune in. I do have some more thoughts to help you in the debate, if you chose to listen to me. Yes, I know, I’m not a political advisor but I am a voter (who has already voted) and I am part of a larger group of people who would give you the same advice, so, here it goes.

1. Try and be positive. Talk about what you would like to accomplish in the next 4 years. Other positive ideas might include acknowledging that the country needs to unify over something, anything. I think we can all agree that children, ones who are already born, need a healthy home, healthy diets, clean air and water, great education, safe communities and, PARENTS. Maybe you could speak about how to reunite 545 CHILDREN with their parents. You could get extra credit for your answers if you can explain how this happened. Remember, answers need to be in complete sentences. Points will be deducted for inappropriate language, lies and yelling.

2. Try and be respectful of EVERYONE! There is no need to call people names, accuse them of being criminals or being anti-American. For Pete’s sake, who would run for public office without caring about our Public! Did you think VP Biden is only trying to get rich, or avoid prosecution? Conspiracy theories or stories that have already been disproven will also deduct points from the final score. Many more points will be deducted for dissing Dr. Fauci.

3. The public would like to have some straight answers for the inevitable question on the current state of your virus. Both you and VP Biden will be asked on what the national plan is and how and why your plan is better, meaning, how will it lower the infection and death rates, as well as protect our overwhelmed health systems. Extra points will be given for facts, statistics and not speaking about what you did 8 months ago, and not mentioning the word, “ventilators”. Points can be deducted for accusing governors of not accepting your “plans” or threatening them with cutting off Federal funds that go towards battling the virus and providing other health care funds.

4. When you are asked about the economy simply explain of how we go forward with supporting small businesses and building real infrastructures like roads, bridges, homes, schools, hospitals, and other jobs of the future. Don’t waste your two minutes on what happened during the last three years. Extra points may be given for discussing how new green businesses will be part of the economic plan, but points may be deducted for trying to return to coal as a major industry.

That’s it for now, I don’t want to make too many suggestions but let’s talk again after the debate.

Dear Mr. President – October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember the game Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? You are playing a different version of it; Where in the Country is Donald Trump? The true answer is all over the places you love, need and want. You are seeing airport hangars large and small and visiting with your nearest and dearest. Your travels seem a bit frantic but so exciting. They also remind me a bit of the game Whack a Mole meaning who’s going to go down and how fast can you (or your virus) hit them.I also noticed that you haven’t really changed your message from “I shut down the country very early” to “the Democrats want to keep the country shut down”, from “I built the greatest economy in history” to “Our V shaped recovery is starting very soon”. There’s also “I’m protecting your suburbs from low cost housing” to “Why don’t the suburban women like me?” I’m not sure why so many women don’t like you, but it might have something to do with the names you call smart, strong, intelligent, powerful women. Come to think of it, it may also be your history of sexual abuse and harassment charges. It may also be how your words have led to a real time threat to the life of our governor, even if your daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, says that encouraging a crowd to yell “Lock her Up” was just part of the light hearted fun of your rally in Muskegon, Michigan.

I read that your administration put out a lovely statement about “Character” and how important it is to show you have it. It is the start of a Presidential Proclamation on National Character. It is an idea most people could support. Here are some of the lines from your Presidential Proclamation: “During National Character Counts Week, we reaffirm our commitment to developing and the demonstration of admirable qualities to enrich our lives and the lives of others.” Here’s another, “Our American story is rich with famous examples of those with outstanding character, including President Washington’s admirable humility and honesty, President Lincoln’s strong will, and President Eisenhower’s courage.” There was one other line that stood out to me, “May we never forget that our Nation is only as strong as the virtue and character of our citizenry.

”Then I discovered that National Character Counts Week was October 18, 2019, not October 2020. It was a great idea, sort of like Infrastructure Week, full of hope but no actions or plans.

Maybe both ideas could be resurrected next year.

Dear Mr. President – October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

“Remember the ladies”. Our second First Lady, Abigail Adams, wrote that in a letter to husband, John Adams, our second president. Did you know that? I was thinking about that line, “remember the ladies”, as I turned off the never -ending hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, the next person to be voted onto the Supreme Court. This is the third and probably last day of this boring marathon. She will be another ultra conservative on the Court and will rule on important cases that we all know she will hear. The men (it’s still mainly Republican men), who are asking her questions are really just going through the motions of praising her. So, let’s get this over with and get her seated. Then we will see what happens with the ACA case due to be heard next month and the cases on Roe v Wade that will come before the court in the next year or so.

But, “remember the ladies”! If Roe v Wade is overturned and the individual states can make it impossible or nearly impossible for women to make their own choices with their bodies, watch out! In all of human history women have had the honor and privilege of bearing children but they have also been forced to have babies they could not or would not be able to raise. In all of human history people have had sex, thank goodness, or we wouldn’t be here. But, it’s not always a choice for the woman and it has led to disasters for women and their health. This is a case of “good people on both sides”. Those who view it as a sin aren’t being forced to undergo a procedure, but I don’t understand why they are allowed to interfere with each woman’s decision on whether or not to give birth. It’s not up to me to make that decision for someone else nor do I understand the legal arguments that have been made and will continue to be made. All I know is that the women of this country will continue to make decisions about their bodies, and I hope they will be able to make those decisions safely whether or not someone else tells them they can’t.

“Remember the ladies” also applies to other issues. Abigail Adams also wrote; “Do not put unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could”. I thought about that line when I heard your speech telling suburban women “I saved your damned suburbs”. Then you went on to complain they should love you. In the previous rally you told people you want to hug and kiss them, whether or not they wanted to be hugged and kissed. I think you were trying to tell jokes again. Remember when I suggested watching a Master Class video on humor? Apparently, you didn’t watch it because your “jokes” are not funny. If you are going around the country doing gigs with this kind of humor, I feel sorry for you. You won’t get many more bookings and you might start to get booed. You are also starting to sound like a “tyrant” who thinks he has unlimited powers. You will need that Superman t-shirt. It’s sold in many stores and you can get it on Amazon. I think they carry X-Large sizes. Just remember, even Superman was vulnerable to Kryptonite so don’t count on the t-shirt being your protection.

Whether it’s women of child -bearing age submitting to the rule of others or suburban women being told how to vote or who to fear, the women, the ladies, the girls of this country, have learned they have powers. They will control their own minds and bodies. They will vote their own interests and beliefs. They will not be silenced, put into a corner or denied their equal rights under the law.